Consumer Rights Act gives right to 30-day deliveryBuy online by 24 November for extra legal protection

20 November 2015

christmas delivery

Which? is urging consumers to know their delivery rights as the busiest online retail week of the year begins.

Figures from the Centre for Retail Research reveal online shopping accounted for almost a quarter of all Christmas spending in 2014. 

And with this figure set to increase in 2015, it pays to know your online shopping and delivery rights.

This year the new Consumer Rights Act sets out a default period of 30 days during which the retailer is legally required to deliver your goods. 

Black Friday fiasco

Last year, online retail figures could have been higher but for the delivery fiasco that followed Black Friday.

Many retailers were unable to fulfil the online orders made over the Black Friday weekend as couriers struggled to cope with the work already in hand.

This Christmas couriers are more prepared than ever to deal with this surge in deliveries. But so is the law, which is great news for online Christmas shoppers. 

We've produced a number of guides you can read to understand your delivery rights this Christmas.

Deliver within 30 days

The only exception to the rule is if a later delivery date is agreed by both parties. If the retailer fails to deliver within the 30 days or on the agreed date, you can do the following:

  • If your delivery is later than agreed and it was essential that it was delivered on time, then you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.
  • If your delivery isn’t time-essential but another reasonable delivery time can’t be agreed, you’re also within your right to cancel the order for a full refund.

Failure to deliver within a reasonable time and outside of the agreed deadline is considered to be a breach of contract. This means that you can claim a full refund from the retailer.

This means all those wanting their deliveries legally guaranteed by Christmas day should place their orders by Tuesday 24 November. Unfortunately that's three days before Black Friday.

Who’s liable if my delivery disappears?

The retailer is responsible for goods until they are in your possession or in the possession of someone you appoint - such as a neighbour.

This means that retailers are liable for the service provided by the couriers they employ - the delivery firm is not liable if something goes wrong.

Don't be fobbed off by a retailer who tells you it's the fault of the delivery driver or company - this is incorrect. 

Christmas 2015: last delivery dates

If you’re one of the millions of people buying gifts online or if you’re planning on sending gifts or cards by post, you should know the last delivery dates.

These are the last UK delivery dates for Royal Mail. For other international delivery dates or different delivery companies you should check with them in advance.

  • Saturday 19 December - 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For
  • Monday 21 December - 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For
  • Wednesday 23 December - Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed

More on this…